Best Añejo Tequila For Every Occasion
There are countless reasons that people are brought to the world of aged añejo tequilas.
Whether you’re a tequila purist looking for the ultimate agave sipper or a whiskey fan getting into tequila through its aged expressions. Whether you’re a home mixologist looking to make an oaky mixed cocktail or a party goer looking to show off with the trendiest new bottle.
Añejos are the ultimate coalescence of age and agave. And there are plenty of options. Even within the world of añejos, there are different expressions – while a regular añejo is aged from one to two years, an extra añejo is aged for at least three.
It can be difficult to pick one. Here, we present the best añejo for every kind of enthusiast and occasion, everything from the perfect beginner’s pick to the crown jewel of a collector’s liquor cabinet.
Budget Friendly Añejo – 1800 Añejo Tequila
At its price of $45, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better introduction to the category than 1800 Añejo Tequila.
Double-distilled and then aged for three years in French oak barrels, 1800 Añejo brings a baked aroma and flavorful notes of pecan, apricot, caramel and brown sugar.
For those skeptical of añejo’s harsher varieties, or even for those looking to make a cocktail at home, 1800 Añejo is a great pick.
Find 1800 Añejo at Reserve Bar.
Cult Favorite – Fortaleza Añejo
Once an underground sleeper, Tequila Fortaleza has risen to the level of a true cult hit in the past few years.
While different batches of Tequila Fortaleza Añejo vary in price, you can easily find a quality bottle from this brand for around $80 online. Strongly bearing its bold flavors of baked agave and oak, Fortaleza Añejo is also noted for subtle hints of vanilla, caramel and cinnamon, and an aroma of dried fig and butterscotch.
* If you’re in search of an especially talked about statement piece, Lots 42-A and 43-A of Fortaleza Añejo have become sought-after collector’s items for many a tequila enthusiast. Good luck finding one though – bottles of those batches, if they can be found, run the gamut from $200 to $400.
Find Fortaleza Añejo at Reserve Bar.
Showing Off at the Club? – Don Julio 1942
With a $170 price tag and an extravagantly tall bottle to match, Don Julio 1942 is an eye-catching option if you’re looking for a gift. It’s an even better option if you’re looking for a flashy tequila tower to throw money at next time you’re in the club (they will almost certainly have a bottle behind the bar).
Luckily, Don Julio 1942 is certainly not all flash and no substance – gold medal winner at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, this añejo lives up to Don Julio’s reputation as a top-tier tequila producer.
Aged for at least two and a half years in ex-bourbon American oak barrels, the final product combines bright floral flavors of pineapple and grapefruit with deeper notes of caramel and dark chocolate. Though you can taste the aging process put into this bottle through its sharper bites, Don Julio 1942 is enjoyed nonetheless as one of the sweeter añejos on the market.
Find Don Julio 1942 at Total Wine.
Budget Friendly Extra Añejo – El Padrino de Mi Tierra Extra Añejo
Admittedly, the notion of a “budget extra añejo” is a bit of a misnomer. Once a tequila is aged for over 3 years, its producers are likely not going to part with it at a low price. That being said, with a price tag of $90, El Padrino de Mi Tierra Extra Añejo is by far the cheapest extra añejo you can find without sacrificing quality.
Heavy on the oak flavor from its over three-year aging process, El Padrino Extra Añejo brings darkened sugary flavors of vanilla, cherry, butter and even cake batter. This is a drink known to buck back and forth between its strong alcoholic finish and sweeter undertones.
Find El Padrino de Mi Tierra Extra Añejo at Total Wine.
Age + Agave – El Tesoro Extra Añejo
When it comes to extra añejo, it can be difficult to find a drink that balances tequila’s clean agave notes with the intoxicatingly strong flavors of prolonged oak barrelling. If you’re hoping to taste an especially agave-forward extra añejo, El Tesoro Extra Añejo might be the pick of choice.
Awarded the 2021 Agave Producer of the Year Award by the International Wine and Spirit Competition, El Tesoro’s extra añejo is chock full of coffee, citrus and floral flavors, which linger beneath a full-bodied kick of baked agave.
At $134, this four-year-aged extra añejo is a smooth drink that toes the line between tequila’s immediately recognizable flavors and an añejo’s robust finish.
Find El Tesoro Extra Añejo at Total Wine.
Best Celebrity Añejo – Casa Noble Single Barrel
Sure, celebrity-owned tequila gets a bad rep. But there are a few diamonds in the rough.
Co-owned by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Carlos Santana, Casa Noble has established itself as one of the very best-reviewed celebrity-owned tequilas on the market. For their Single Barrel Extra Añejo, it’s all about the details.
The blue agave grown to make this drink is left to mature for 14 years, as opposed to the typical seven years for a tequila. After that, Casa Noble Single Barrel is distilled three times, then left to age in French Limousin white oak barrels for six years.
With an earthy aroma and grassy agave flavors of damiana, clove and honey, this distinctive black and silver bottle of extra añejo will cost you $120. It’s definitely one you’ll want to sip on its own.
Find Casa Noble Single Barrel at Reserve Bar.
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